Two of Manchester United’s star players have been linked with moves away from Old Trafford.
A report from Calciomercato.com claims that Paul Pogba‘s agent, Mino Raiola, has agreed “a deal in principle” for Barcelona to sign the French international midfielder. Per the report, Arturo Vidal has been persuading Barcelona’s coach Ernesto Valverde to push for the move for his former teammate at Juventus.
Speaking of Juve, it seems like Romelu Lukaku fancies a move to Turin. Speaking during the international break, Lukaku was asked about the reigning Italian champions and if he’d ever want to move to Serie A.
“Why not?” Lukaku told Gazzetta dello Sport. “I hope it happens. Juve have a great project in place and they just keep going. Every year they try to get stronger. Without doubt, Juve are one of the two-three best teams in Europe. They’ve got a great coach on the bench and extraordinary players in every area of the team.”
What is the likelihood of one or both of these deals happening?
Pogba, 25, heading to Barca has been rumbling along for quite some time but given the vast amount of cash Barcelona already spend on wages, how on earth will they be able to generate the funds to not only sign Pogba but pay his weekly salary? If they sold one of their star players for a huge transfer fee, then maybe this would happen. Until then, Raiola can agree the deal in principle but United seem to have little interest in selling Pogba, despite his clashes with Jose Mourinho over the past few seasons.
Lukaku, 25, has over three years remaining on the contract he signed when he joined United from Everton in the summer of 2017 and given his output of 31 goals in 62 games for the Red Devils, few could argue he hasn’t delivered what has been asked of him. Even if his record against the top-six teams isn’t the best, Lukaku is the focal point of United’s attack and you could argue he isn’t getting the kind of service he needs week in, week out.
There is no way Pogba and Lukaku would be allowed to leave United at the same time, and even if Mourinho left between now and the end of the season, they’d likely stick around to see who the new manager would be.
The timing of this report and Lukaku’s comments is rather interesting. After a tough run of games for Mourinho and with his job said to be in danger, hearing some of United’s players are either keen on other clubs or have their agents working behind-the-scenes on a move suggests that they believe Mourinho will be sticking around for the foreseeable future.